The history of Mr. Polly
December 20, 2012
H.G, Wells Best Book
The History Of Mr. Polly is the story of Alfred Polly who was not properly educated and is apprenticed in his late teens to a drapery store.
He does not like this line of work but he is forced to do it as he has no other qualifications.
At the Drapery store he makes friends with fellow assistants Platt and Parsons. But this friendship breaks when Parson is fired from work after assaulting the manager.
Polly then leaves his situation, tries various other jobs and finally goes to stay with a cousin of his.
The death of his father leaves a substantial inheritance of money, by which Alfred eventually and rashly marries one of the daughters of his mother's sister called Miriam. He uses the rest of the money to let a small shop with a single bedroom and kitchen.
The rest of the book is about how Polly regrets his dull life on reaching 40. He and Miriam often have small squabbles about how he should be working harder, as the small shop is reaching bankruptcy.
Circumstances arrive which eventually puts Alfred's life in order and gives him happiness for the rest of his life.
By far this is the best of Wells with some comic moments and some serious ones. He also adds a chapter on the social class in Britain. He states that Man is unhappy due to his inability to change the circumstances if his life. But when he overcomes this handicap, he will find great beauty, friendship and love.